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Aug 5, 2021

How Waking Up to A Sun Salutation A Can Put the ‘F’ in Focus

Some of us have strict morning regimens and others not so much. My morning routines consist of a myriad of things, depending on the day and my mood—from a run to hitting the snooze button to squeeze in some additional sleep time to journaling to meditation to bootcamp to dissecting the national news. Regardless of the activity, the stresses and necessities of the day are always in my peripheral.

As a result, focusing is sometimes not my strong suit. So, while researching natural ways to help me with focusing, I ran across an article that suggested yoga—specifically, Sun Salutation A. Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar or Salutations to the Sun) not only wakes up your body but also your brain. It helps you balance between the right and left sides of the brain, thus increasing your creativity and mental capacity. And although yoga was also not a strong suit of mine, I thought I’ll give it a go. Here are some of the benefits.

  • Sun Salutation A is the perfect set of poses for beginners to do to initiate a yoga practice.
  • Its deep breathing helps relax your mind, sharpen your senses and increase your energy, self-awareness and alertness.
  • It is a full-body workout that tones muscles and improves flexibility and posture through intentional movements and muscle strengthening.
  • It improves blood circulation which is linked to low cholesterol levels, a healthy heart, good hormone balance and glowing skin.
  • It improves digestion and promotes weight loss by stimulating the digestive tract which improves your metabolism, thus helping you get rid of toxins and burn extra calories.

Sun salutations should be practiced in the morning as this is the best time of day to set intentions. Sun Salutation A will raise your heart rate, get your blood flowing, stretch and strengthen your muscles, aid in digestion and promote better sleep. And though the suggested sequence is fixed, you can vary and modify your practice to fit what best works for you.

Giving Sun Salutation A a try has truly enhanced my life and my mornings. I’ll be the first to admit that yoga is not for everyone but anyone can benefit from it, even if you only have a few minutes a day to spare. Having an open mind and being in the moment are key, as with most things in life. But you can do it, and your body and your brain will thank you!

Sun Salutation A consists of the below asanas that are performed in a cyclic order (hold each pose for one breath, inhaling and exhaling through your nose):

  1. Prayer pose (Pranamasana)
  2. Upward salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  3. Standing forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  4. Plank Pose
  5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose/Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana)
  6. Upward-facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
  7. Downward-facing dog (Adho Muhka Svanasana)
  8. Standing forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  9. Upward salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  10. Prayer pose (Pranamasana)

How to move through the poses:

Sun Salutation A begins with Prayer Pose. As you stand in Prayer pose (Pranamasana), your hands rest at the heart. From Prayer Pose, raise arms above the head into an Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana), then swan dive into Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana). Make your way into Plank Pose via a lunge position, and then into Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana). From Chaturanga push up into Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) then back into Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Muhka Svanasana). From there, step forward into Standing Forward Bend and rise up and back into Upward Salute, then back to Prayer Pose with your hands at heart center. Repeat as many times as you wish or as needed.


By: Joy Harrell @joyrunsrealestate

Joy Harrell is a licensed real estate agent and co-owner of The Sift Sisters bakery based in Houston, Texas. She is a native Houstonian and graduate of the University of Houston—go Coogs! When she is not helping people buy, sell or invest in real estate, she can be found hanging or traveling with her hubby, running or biking the streets and trails in and around Houston, mentoring girls or testing new food and cocktail recipes.